Today we interview media startup founder Pavel Konoplenko, CEO of Spolied.NYC and Ezetech partner. He believes success has something to do with curiosity, generosity, and most importantly — passion.Before co-founding spoiled Media, he explored the full potential of social media through various roles at marketing and advertising agencies here in New York City. Now at the helm of his own media company, Pavel is more involved than ever in championing individuality, vision, and creative expression through experiential media.
Ezetech: How did you come up with the idea for spoiled NYC?
Pavel Konoplenko: I saw a real need for a new voice speaking to New Yorkers. Living in one of the largest cities in the world with computers in our pockets, we New Yorkers have more access to new ways of experiencing our world than ever before.
Nowadays, more people than ever before have the ability to pursue a “spoiled” lifestyle. We wanted to redefine what this means to people today. After all, there’s no reason to feel guilty about striving to enrich life for you and your friends.
E: Did you start the venture alone?
PK: No. I got it going with my co-founder Danny Giardullo. He’s been instrumental in helping build the foundation and getting us to the next level. We had experience working together before and I knew there was something to us as a team in how we were able to attack and solve problems, always pushing each other to do what’s best for the company.
E: What was the hardest part in the early stages of the company’s growth?
PK: Cashflow, having processes that allowed us to scale, and learning lessons from the typical mistakes that any startup makes — whether it was hiring the wrong person or not doing enough testing.
E: Do you think luck played a role in the success of spoiled NYC?
PK: I think luck plays a huge role in any business — whether it’s meeting certain partners, being randomly introduced to future clients, or even getting the interns that become integral, full-time members of the team. Nevertheless, it’s been said that luck favors the bold and prepared.
E: When did you first get the sense that spoiled NYC was developing a significant audience?
PK: Our July 3rd event in 2015, which took place on a rooftop in Manhattan, was a big reality check in the reach and impact we were having. There was a line around the block to get into the venue. Seeing hundreds of strangers eagerly waiting to join the spoiled party was definitely an out-of-body experience.
PK: Facebook became a behemoth with enough market power to threaten smaller publishers, and Snapchat started showing signs of becoming a powerhouse in the future — with lots of advertisers and media companies jumping on it in full force.
E: Have you done any events as of late?
PK: We got into events in a big way this summer, realizing a new revenue stream, as well as a new opportunity to get the brand out, furthering the mission of creating experiences.
E: Tell us about the flip in technology you recently experienced. How does this speak to the strategic direction of the company?
PK: Technology is increasingly becoming the core of our business. We believe that strong proprietary tech will differentiate us from other media companies in being able to more efficiently manage processes and afford us greater control over pursuing new initiatives.
PK: Focus on delivering real value to the readers. Understand what they need and work your ass off to deliver that. Build trust and always be listening to them. Don’t rely on just one audience. Understand the value and the voice of your brand.